Feeling fancy? Crème Brûlée Cheesecake is a luscious homemade cheesecake baked atop a sweet, buttery graham cracker crust. The best part, of course, is the signature torched topping!
What’s in this Crème Brûlée Cheesecake Recipe?
Creamy as can-be cheesecake layered on top of a buttery graham cracker crust with a signature Crème Brûlée topping, this dessert is one of my absolute favorites! It’s impressive, delicious, and rich with both luscious consistency and sweet flavor.
- Graham Cracker Crumbs: Create a rich, flavorful crust.
- Granulated Sugar: Sweetens the crust and cheesecake and forms the signature cracked crust.
- Unsalted Butter: Holds the crust together.
- Cream Cheese: Forms the base of the cheesecake, making it dense and creamy.
- Heavy Cream: Ensures the batter is not too thick.
- Sour Cream: Softens the texture of the cheesecake and adds moisture and tangy flavor. You can also use plain yogurt.
- Lime Juice: Adds a bit of acidity and helps to create a thick texture.
- Vanilla Bean Paste: Adds a strong vanilla flavor. For a subtler flavor, use vanilla extract.
- Kosher Salt: Enhances the natural flavor of the cream cheese.
- Eggs: Bind the cheesecake, creating a smooth and rich texture.
- Cornstarch: Helps to thicken and bind the cheesecake.
Pro Tip: All-purpose flour can be used in place of the cornstarch; simply increase the amount used to 2½ tablespoons.
Variations on this Crème Brûlée Dessert
For a slightly different flavor, use vanilla wafers, digestive biscuits, or Biscoff cookies for the crust instead of graham crackers. For a homemade twist, use butter cookies, peanut butter cookies, or brown sugar cookies.
You can make this a chocolate crème brûlée cheesecake by melting 2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips and folding them into the cheesecake batter. Try it with an Oreo cookie crust!
Crème brûlée is a classic cream-based French dessert that’s famously topped with sugar and torched! We’ve taken that delicious, custardy flavor and infused it into a cheesecake with the signature, crackable crust!
Yes! This is a baked cheesecake recipe, and it will not turn out correctly unless it is baked in the oven. If you’re looking for a no bake cheesecake recipe, start with my no bake circus cookie cheesecake recipe, and replace the cookies with graham crackers or your choice of cookie for the crust. Use white candy melts or white chocolate in the cheesecake, omit the food coloring and sprinkles, and then follow the steps below for caramelizing the top!
This cheesecake is baked in a water bath to keep the air in the oven moist and prevent the cheesecake from cracking.
If you want to keep the cheesecake from cracking, turn the oven off, and let it cool with the door closed for a minimum of 1 hour and a maximum of 3 hours.
Yes! Simply heat a metal spoon over the stove, then once it’s nice and hot, you can heat the sugar with it and it will caramelize. Be careful not to burn your hands!
How to Store
Store leftover crème brûlée cheesecake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Serve cold or let come to room temperature before serving. Do not leave cheesecake unrefrigerated for more than 2 hours.
How to Freeze
Freeze crème brûlée cheesecake whole or in individual slices in an airtight container for up to 1 month. Allow cheesecake to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before serving.
This decadent cheesecake is perfect all by itself or served with a heaping scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
Crème Brûlée Cheesecake Recipe
For the Crust
- 2¾ cups graham cracker crumbs 391 grams, from about 25 cracker sheets
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar 67 grams
- 9 tablespoons unsalted butter 127 grams, melted (1⅛ sticks)
For the Cheesecake
- 24 ounces cream cheese 681 grams, room temperature (3 bricks)
- 10 tablespoons granulated sugar 125 grams
- ⅔ cup heavy cream 151 grams, room temperature
- ⅓ cup sour cream 76 grams, room temperature
- 1½ tablespoons lime juice 21 grams, from ¾ lime
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla bean paste 6 grams
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt 3 grams
- 4 large eggs 200 grams, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch 14 grams
For the Topping
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar 67 grams
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper and gently spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
- To make the crust, whisk the graham cracker crumbs and sugar together in a medium-sized bowl. Add in the butter and stir until the mixture resembles wet sand. Press the crust mixture into the bottom of the springform pan in an even layer.2¾ cups graham cracker crumbs, ⅓ cup granulated sugar, 9 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Place the pan into the oven to bake for 15 minutes. Once baked, remove from the oven and place onto a cooling rack to cool slightly as you make the cheesecake batter. Increase the oven heat to 400°F
- Place the cream cheese and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat together on high speed for 2 minutes to ensure that the mixture is creamy and that no lumps of cream cheese remain.24 ounces cream cheese, 10 tablespoons granulated sugar
- Add in the heavy cream, sour cream, lime juice, vanilla bean paste, and salt, and mix until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds.⅔ cup heavy cream, ⅓ cup sour cream, 1½ tablespoons lime juice, 1½ teaspoons vanilla bean paste, 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Mix in the eggs until combined, then add in the cornstarch and mix until combined.4 large eggs, 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- Pour the batter into the springform pan onto the crust. Smooth the top out as well as possible.
- Wrap the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan with aluminum foil to prevent any water from seeping in. Place the springform pan into a larger baking pan or broiler pan. Fill the broiler pan with 1 inch of water to create a water bath. Place the pans into the oven to bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 250°F and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes.
- Once baked, turn the heat off and leave the cheesecake in the oven to cool for 30 minutes with the door closed. Open the oven door slightly and let the cheesecake continue to chill for 30 minutes. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and unwrap the tin foil. Place the springform pan onto a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.
- Once cooled, cover with aluminum foil and place it into the fridge to chill for at least 8 hours.
- Once the cheesecake has chilled, run a butter knife around the inside edge of the springform pan to release the cheesecake from the pan. Release the springform and remove the sides from the cheesecake. Place the cheesecake onto a cake stand or serving platter.
- Spread the sugar topping over the surface of the cheesecake in an even layer. Use a kitchen torch to toast the sugar. Using medium-to-low heat, hold the torch 1 inch away from the sugar and slowly toast the sugar. Once the sugar starts to bubble, move on to another section, as it will burn easily.⅓ cup granulated sugar
- Once all of the sugar is toasted, let it set for several minutes to cool completely before slicing and serving.
- For a slightly different flavor, use vanilla wafers, digestive biscuits, or Biscoff cookies for the crust instead of graham crackers.
- Plain yogurt can be used instead of sour cream.
- Vanilla extract can be used instead of vanilla bean paste.
- All-purpose flour can be used in place of the cornstarch; simply increase the amount used to 2 ½ tablespoons.
- When making the cheesecake, be sure to beat the cream cheese well at the beginning to ensure that it is smooth. If, when the cheesecake batter is complete, you still have lumps, simply press them against the side of the bowl using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula.
- Use room temperature ingredients for the best results.
- Do not overmix the cheesecake batter as it will add air and result in uneven baking and can cause it to crack at the end.
- Be sure to leave the cheesecake in the oven for the hour after baking to rest. This allows the cheesecake to set, thus preventing or at least lowering the chances that the cheesecake top cracks.
- Once the cheesecake is baked, placing it onto a cooling rack allows all of the cheesecake to be exposed to the air to cool more quickly. However, you can place the cheesecake onto a hot pad to cool, it may just take a little longer.